In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] stated concerning those who disbelieved in His Messenger Saaleh [alayhis-salaam]:
وَكَانَ فِى ٱلۡمَدِينَةِ تِسۡعَةُ رَهۡطٍ۬ يُفۡسِدُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا يُصۡلِحُونَ
قَالُواْ تَقَاسَمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ ۥ وَأَهۡلَهُ ۥ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيِّهِۦ مَا شَہِدۡنَا مَهۡلِكَ أَهۡلِهِۦ وَإِنَّا لَصَـٰدِقُونَ
وَمَكَرُواْ مَڪۡرً۬ا وَمَكَرۡنَا مَڪۡرً۬ا وَهُمۡ لَا يَشۡعُرُونَ
فَٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ ڪَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ مَكۡرِهِمۡ أَنَّا دَمَّرۡنَـٰهُمۡ وَقَوۡمَهُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ
فَتِلۡكَ بُيُوتُهُمۡ خَاوِيَةَۢ بِمَا ظَلَمُوٓاْۗ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَةً۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يَعۡلَمُونَ
وَأَنجَيۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَڪَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ
And there were in the city nine men (from the sons of their chiefs), who made mischief in the land, and would not reform. They said: “Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and afterwards we will surely say to his near relatives: ‘We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily! We are telling the truth. So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. Then see how was the end of their plot! Verily! We destroyed them and their nation, all together. These are their houses in utter ruin, for they did wrong. Verily, in this is indeed an Ayah (a lesson or a sign) for people who know. And We saved those who believed, and used to fear Allah, and keep their duty to Him. [27:48-53]
In the city where Saaleh (lived) amongst his people, there were nine men whom Allaah described as mischief makers in the land. They neither had any (good) intention nor deeds of righteousness; rather they were prepared to manifest enmity towards Saaleh (alayhis-salaam) – spoke ill of his religion (of Tawheed and uprightness) and called their people to this enmity of theirs. [Ref 1] They used to shed blood, commit theft and violate the honour of women. They were also the ones who hamstrung the she-camel. [Ref 2]
Allaah (The Most High) informed us that Saaleh (alayhis-salaam) advised his people, saying:
فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ
وَلَا تُطِيعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَ ٱلۡمُسۡرِفِينَ
ٱلَّذِينَ يُفۡسِدُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا يُصۡلِحُونَ
So fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me. And follow not the command of Al-Musrifun [i.e. their chiefs, leaders who were polytheists, criminals and sinners]; Who make mischief in the land, and reform not. [26:150-152]
However, they did not cease to be upon this evil state of affairs until their enmity towards Saaleh (alayhis-salaam) led them to make an oath to one another that they will approach him and his family at night and murder them. They also agreed that when they are confronted by Saaleh’s (alayhis-salaam) near relatives with the claim that they killed him, they will reject the claim and make an oath that they were truthful. So they plotted to murder Allaah’s Prophet Saaleh (alayhis-salaam) and Allaah also planned, but Allaah saved Saaleh (alayhis-salaam) and destroyed his disbelieving people. Indeed, they never fulfilled their goal and plot.
This is the reality of the end result; so ponder upon the way in which Allaah (The Most High) deals with His Friends and His enemies! The end result of oppression will always be devastation and destruction, and the end result of Eemaan and justice will always be safety and success.
Allaah saved those who believed in Him, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the last Day and in His pre-decree (its good and it bad)—and they were also those who refrained from shirk and disobedience, and they obeyed Allaah and His Messengers. [Ref 3]
[Refs 1 & 3: Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Ramaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan of Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah)… Abridged and paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Zaadul Maseer’ by Ibnul Jawzi]